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Rising waters, no air: How Thai cave rescue nearly went wrong

12 July 2018

None of the four boys who were the first group to be evacuated from the cave has a fever, and the three boys who have minor lung infections are improving, Thai officials said, adding that they are taking less medication and can eat anything they want.

"It might be because they were all together as a team, helping each other out", Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, Inspector General of the Public Health Ministry told reporters, singling out their 25-year-old coach for keeping their spirits high. "They talked to the boys far away from them, about 2 meters [6.5 feet]", Thongchai said.

The four boys rescued on Sunday are now eating normal food and walking around, while the four extracted on Monday are being given soft food.

President Trump tweeted his congratulations, describing the emergence of the last four boys and their coach as "such a handsome moment".

After seeing the news of the trapped 12 "Wild Boars" football players and their coach on TV, they collected donations from fellow villagers for their flight before departing for Chiang Rai and the cave.

The boys lost on average 2kg during their ordeal but are said to be in good physical condition. The footage also depicts one of the boys flashing a victory sign and their parents crying and waving at the children from behind a glass partition.

This handout video grab taken from footage released by the Royal Thai Navy yesterday (July 11) shows a member of the "Wild Boars" Thai youth football team being moved on a stretcher during a rescue operation inside the Tham Luang cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Mae Sai district. Three have slight lung infections.

The boys would have to stay in hospital for up to 10 days, hospital director Chaiwetch Thanapaisal told the news conference.

The boys seem to be going through progressive stages once they reach the hospital.

Thai Navy SEALs also posted photos and a video of some of their operations in the cave on their Facebook page Wednesday.

Brainy Adul Sam-on speaks five languages, allowing him to translate for the rescue divers.

The rescue process started at 10am local time on Sunday and involved 13 global divers and five Thai navy seals, who were referred to as "an all-star team" by NarongsakOsatanakorn, who is the Governor of Chiang Rai province and head of the joint command centre coordinating the rescue. He ran out of air while trying to swim out of the cave.

The extensive search-and-rescue operation, which included more than 1,000 people from various nations, has now switched to a treatment process.

Narongsak said global rescuers led the final phase of the risky mission.

Described in a South Australia Ambulance Service statement as a "quiet and kind man" who "didn't think twice about offering his support on this mission" Harry, as he is known, was lauded for his work in throughout the rescue period.

Rising waters, no air: How Thai cave rescue nearly went wrong